I was just starting to understand that there were other ways of understanding the world that did not centre around the dominant rhetoric I'd grown up with: whiteness, Christianity and generosity through charity. Vu Le led the way to the door; Anand Giridharadas handed me the key.
Those older than us do not have a monopoly on perspective, maturity, and experience Yes, our lives may be limited by our lack of money, lack of resources, lack of privilege, lack of education, lack of time. However, here are four things you can do when you feel like your age is holding you back.
It’s like we’re swimming laps in a pool. We need something to push off when we get to the end, so we can propel ourselves back through the water. The tiles at the end are hard and uncompromising, but they’re exactly what we need because they help us move forward faster. If a pool edge were made of sand or clay or smoke, we wouldn’t have a pool to swim in, let alone an edge to propel off. For me, the hard, uncompromising nature of Anglicanism functioned as the end of my lane in 2016.
How do you look at what you used to think, who you used to be, with kindness and curiosity rather than disdain and embarrassment?
I couldn’t see why he didn’t have empathy for my situation until I told Toni what was happening. Being my counsellor at the time, she smiled knowingly and asked, “Jemma, have you ever heard about The Ring Theory?”
Not the movie. A thing. THE thing. A place, an achievement, a title, a certain amount of money, an experience. That thing we desperately want. The desire to be in the next place.
Where is she asking you? Who else is listening? What information do you already have? What else do you need to know?
As I look at people with power in our society, I find myself less taken with what they have achieved, and far more interested in what they’ve sacrificed to get there.